Papaloukas sets NBA as his next objective

CSKA Moscow’s Thodoris Papaloukas, currently rated as Europe’s leading basketball player, yesterday excluded the possibility of returning to a Greek club, stressing instead that the NBA stood as his main objective. Papaloukas, commenting on his playing future during a news conference in Athens that was held to promote his basketball academy for juniors, declined to give further details about where he could be headed in the NBA. However, Papaloukas, a key player in Greece’s Eurobasket triumph in 2005 and CSKA’s Euroleague title the following year, did name several clubs where he felt his style of playing could blend in, these being the San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks. Papaloukas contended that «11 or 12 [NBA] teams are currently interested in me,» while adding that «anyway, a trade or salary-cap change in the NBA can alter everything and then you’ll be telling me that I lied.» Papaloukas, who turned 30 last month, said the NBA was his main career objective at this point «because I’m at an age where I may not get another chance.» The Greek player said that he had been recently approached by a leading Greek official about a return to domestic competition. He did not elaborate. «I was honored by the discussion we had, but I was totally honest and told him that a return to Greece at this stage did not rank among my priorities,» remarked Papaloukas. The Greek player, who moved to CSKA Moscow from Olympiakos in 2002, signed a three-year contract with the Russian club in June last year.

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